Death Penalty Waning Essay

2155 words - 9 pages

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TABLE 1. Comparison of Abolitionist and Retentionist Countries

Year

Complete Abolitionist

Abolitionist for ordinary offences

Total Retentionist

Total countries

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

1988

35

19

17

9

128

71

180

1995

60

31

13

7

119

62

192

2001

75

39

14

7

105

54

194

2008

104

52

35

18

58

29

197

Source: The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective; Infoplease

Death Penalty WaningDeath is the inevitable consequence of life that all accepts, but when it is deliberately delivered before its due, it is hard for everyone to agree. For that reason and more, the death penalty has been a debated issue for as long as its existence. However, as the epoch turns into the second millennium, the capital punishment languished while humanity flourished."Capital punishment is in decline as the twentieth century nears its end" (Hains 5), this phenomenon is evident in Hood's research of death penalty in a global perspective. Dividing the world's various nations into "abolitionists" and "retentionists", enough data was collected to form the conclusion of the decline in the practice of death penalty. Abolitionist, which refers to countries that abolished the death penalty, grew considerably in number while retentionists, the countries still exercising death penalty, found themselves to be more the minority with each passing year. From TABLE 1 we can see that in 1988 death penalty is a common practice and more than 70% of the countries worldwide punished criminals with death sentences. However, as the statistics show, the numbers of abolitionist countries grew so profusely that in 2009 the situation is reversed, bringing abolitionists up to more than half of the total countries and retentionists a mere 29%. On top of that, an additional
TABLE 2.
Convicts Under Death Sentence

TABLE 3.
Convicts Sentenced

Year

Count

Year

Count

Year

Count

1980

618

1993

2716

1993

37

1981

924

1994

2890

1994

31

1982

1137

1995

N/A

1995

N/A

1983

1289

1996

3219

1996

45

1984

1464

1997

3335

1997

74

1985

1642

1998

3452

1998

68

1986

1838

1999

3527

1999

98

1987

1982

2000

3593

2000

85

1988

2182

2001

3581

2001

66

1989

2250

2002

3557

2002

71

1990

2412

2003

3374

2003

65

1991

2465

2004

3314

2004

59

1992

2575

2005

3254

2005

60

Sources: Bureau of Justice Statistics

Sources: BJS

35 countries did not use the death penalty for over ten years for they reserve it only as a punishment for especially severe offences like treason.With the insight of the rising tide of abolitionists, we can easily conclude that death penalty is indeed waning, but when we take a closer look at the remaining retentionist countries, we can be certain that the downturn of death penalty is at auniversal scale. Taking the U.S. as an...

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